A federal judge could greenlight construction of the Lucas Museum in Chicago Tuesday during a status hearing in a civil case filed by the Friends of the Parks.
Last week, Mellody Hobson's comments said she and her husband George Lucas are "seriously" considering new locations outside of Chicago after the Friends of the Parks decided against backing a plan to build the museum at the current McCormick Place East site. The following day, Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a Hail Mary play to keep the attraction by filing a petition requesting that the court dismiss the group's lawsuit, callng it "frivolous."
"Today, we are filing with the federal appellate court a petition for writ of mandamus, which requests that the appellate court direct the district court to dismiss the lawsuit," Emanuel said in announcing the filing. "Friends of the Parks' claims for federal relief are frivolous, and we can no longer wait for the completion of legal proceedings to correct these legal errors on appeal. Due to the extraordinary circumstances here, if immediate review is denied, there will be no litigation to appeal, as the museum will abandon its efforts to locate in Chicago."
Judge John Darrah, who is overseeing the case, said he could remove the hold on construction of the museum as the legal battle plays out. But, Darrah warns, developers would be required to take down any structures built in the interim if the Friends of the Parks eventually wins the case.
UPDATE: The hearing has been postponed until June 15.